hemlock

noun
hem·​lock | \ ˈhem-ˌläk How to pronounce hemlock (audio) \

Definition of hemlock

1a : any of several poisonous herbs (such as a poison hemlock or a water hemlock) of the carrot family having finely cut leaves and small white flowers
b : a drug or lethal drink prepared from the poison hemlock
2 : any of a genus (Tsuga) of evergreen coniferous trees of the pine family also : the soft light splintery wood of a hemlock

Examples of hemlock in a Sentence

Socrates died after drinking hemlock.
Recent Examples on the Web In the mid-19th century, before a vaccine was developed in 1921, toxic substances like hemlock and turpentine were offered as remedies for consumption. Leo Deluca, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 July 2021 The cost of hemlock bark dust has gone from $35 a cubic yard to $60 a cubic yard. oregonlive, 11 July 2021 The department said this type of hemlock releases an odor but shouldn’t be crushed to smell because toxic oils can be emitted. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 8 July 2021 Poison hemlock produces little white flowers in bunches, and its stems can be mistaken for wild parsnips. oregonlive, 29 June 2021 Poison hemlock has a pretty scary reputation for being toxic. Korin Miller, Health.com, 22 June 2021 The fraught associations of debarking the hemlock were not lost on Shin. New York Times, 3 May 2021 Fine upholstery also comes to mind, but hemlock is too soft for furniture and tanners often abandoned it. New York Times, 3 May 2021 On lands covered in forests dominated by hemlock and cedar trees, these forest gardens represent abrupt departures from the surrounding ecosystem. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hemlock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hemlock

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hemlock

Middle English hemlok, from Old English hemlic

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About hemlock

Time Traveler for hemlock

Time Traveler

The first known use of hemlock was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near hemlock

hemline

hemlock

hemlock chervil

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hemlock

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hemlock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hemlock. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hemlock

hemlock

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hemlock

: an evergreen tree with soft wood
: a type of poisonous plant that has small white flowers
: a deadly drug or drink made from this plant

hemlock

noun
hem·​lock | \ ˈhem-ˌläk How to pronounce hemlock (audio) \

Kids Definition of hemlock

1 : an evergreen tree related to the pine
2 : a poisonous plant with small white flowers and leaves divided into many parts

hemlock

noun
hem·​lock | \ ˈhem-ˌläk How to pronounce hemlock (audio) \

Medical Definition of hemlock

1a : any of several poisonous herbs (as a poison hemlock or a water hemlock) of the carrot family (Umbelliferae) having finely cut leaves and small white flowers
2 : a drug or lethal drink prepared from the poison hemlock — compare coniine

More from Merriam-Webster on hemlock

Nglish: Translation of hemlock for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hemlock

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!